A Green Sanctuary
Being a Green Sanctuary is one of the ways we work toward a vision of healthier, more sustainable future.
As a recognized Green Sanctuary, we live with a deep awareness of our climate crisis and the deep environmental injustices of our time. We commit to four practices, grounded in Unitarian Universalist principles:
- Environmental Justice: We partner with marginalized communities who are hit first and hardest by environmental crisis. In partnering with these communities we are able to address human and environmental needs at the same time.
- Worship and Celebration: As we work together towards a cleaner, more just and sustainable world, worship inspires our work and reminds us of what is most sacred and most true.
- Religious Education: Our workshops and programs for all ages shape attitudes and build practices that are sustainable and spiritually-grounded.
- Sustainable Living: We treat the world more gently by using fewer resources and being mindful of the choices we make, both as a congregation and as households.
- Earned the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) designation as a Green Sanctuary Church in May 2010. This was the culmination of a five year effort to audit our campus sustainability practices, develop twelve sustainability goals, and take steps to meet these goals.
- Initiated a campus recycling program, installed energy efficient lighting, and adopted other important sustainability practices.
Installed of 84 high efficiency solar panels on the roof of our Parish House in April 2013. The panels produce a peak power of 27 Kw and reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from our campus by 375 tons per year. The panels produce electricity equivalent to the use of electric power by our Parish House and Meeting House.
- Installed four 97.5% efficient gas furnaces in our Parish House in August 2014. They replaced four 55 year-old inefficient furnaces. The energy savings in gas and electricity is at least $4,000 per year.
- Organized environmental forums, showed films on climate change, hosted climate change presentations and supported ministerial sermons on sustainability themes.
Built a community garden on First Parish grounds in the spring of 2014. Gardeners donate excess vegetables to a local family shelter.
Host booth at the Annual Framingham Earth Day Festival on the Framingham Green with information for the public about climate change and opportunities for action.
The activities of the Green Sanctuary Committee have expanded outward to town, state and national levels. The group renamed itself The Climate Action Team. For information about these efforts, visit the Climate Action Team page.